Advice to patients for impending doctors’ strike

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Luton and Dunstable Hospital is making preparations for the planned junior doctors strike on September 12.

Junior doctors across England are due to stage a five-day strike from Monday 12 – Friday 16 September, which will see them withdraw all labour – including for emergency care – between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

It is a national dispute which relates to the Government’s proposals to introduce a new junior doctors’ contract, and is not directed at individual hospitals.

A hospital spokesman said: “We are currently putting in place plans to ensure we provide a safe service for our patients throughout the strike, including anyone who needs emergency or urgent care.

“We will be running as many outpatient appointments and planned operations and procedures as possible during the planned week of strikes, but some will have to be postponed and we are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.

“If you have an outpatient appointment at the L&D on these dates, or you are due to come in for surgery or another procedure, please attend as normal unless we tell you otherwise - if we have to postpone your appointment, operation or procedure, we will contact you to let you know as soon as possible.”

What should people do on the strike days?

>There is a range of help and advice available via the NHS 111 service, local pharmacies, GP surgeries and walk-in centres for minor illnesses and injuries

>If you have an outpatient appointment at the L&D between Monday 12 September and Friday 16 September or you are due to come in for surgery or another procedure on those days, please attend as normal unless told otherwise

>If the hospital has to postpone your appointment, operation or procedure, it will let you know as soon as possible

What is the L&doing to help minimise disruption to patients?

“Our overriding priority is to ensure that the strike does not compromise the care we provide to our patients and their families. We have been working with clinical colleagues across the Trust to maintain adequate staffing levels within our Emergency Department and the services which support it, including emergency surgery, radiology and other diagnostic services.

“We have taken a number of steps to ensure that our consultants and other staff teams can provide support in areas and roles normally staffed by junior doctors, including:

> Providing refresher training for consultants in key IT systems

>Working with staff to ensure they are able to cover other roles which they are clinically qualified for

> Redeploying staff from areas such as outpatient clinics and operating theatres where we are unable to run clinics or operating lists, so that they can work in other areas to support colleagues and care for patients.”

Further strikes are planned for 5 -11 October (excluding the weekend) 14 -18 November, and 5 - 9 December.